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Cablegate: Af: Update On Key Usaid Power Projects

VZCZCXRO4276
PP RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3363/01 2751229
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021229Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0708
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0536
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4226
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2984
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 1616
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0277
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 1396
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 7135
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0061
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 2116
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0083
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3760
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1955

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003363

SIPDIS

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SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: ENRG EFIN EPET ETRD KPWR EAID PGOV AF
SUBJECT: AF: Update on Key USAID Power Projects

Sensitive but Unclassified

Reftels: A ) Kabul 3180 B) Kabul 3087

1. (SBU) The following is a summary of the current state of key
ongoing USAID projects in the Afghan Energy Sector. In-depth
reporting on the various projects mentioned will be forthcoming in
the near future.

2. (SBU) 100 MW POWER PLANT FOR KABUL - (Reftel A) On September 23,
2007, project contractor LBG/B&V formally took possession of the
site and began preparations for demining and surveying. Delivery of
the first set of gensets (36 MW) is expected in May of 2008. A
second delivery will follow soon after and both sets are expected to
be installed and operational by January 2009, delivering 72 MW of
power into the Kabul power grid. One potential problem remains. A
group of nomads living near the project site has been ordered to
depart the area earlier than usual to move to their winter camping
grounds. They have done so, but it remains to be seen if they will
heed the government's warning not to return to the site in the
springtime. We have been assured of the government's assistance
should this eventuality occur.

3. (SBU) NORTH EAST POWER SYSTEM (NEPS) - There have been several
developments. The Government of India (GOI) is considering
expanding the scope of its assistance to include the funding and
construction of two sub-stations on the NEPS line in Doshi and
Charikar. Approximate cost is USD 13 million. These substations
would reinforce the energy flow between Pul-e-Khumri (where all
three branch NEPS lines meet) and Kabul.

4. (SBU) At a recent meeting of the Interministerial Committee on
Energy (ICE), Minister of Energy and Water Ismail Khan announced
that the IRoA has allocated USD 100 million for the upgrading of the
Kabul electricity distribution system. It is desirable to have
maximum upgrades to the Kabul system in place by early 2009, when
initial NEPS power is expected to flow into the system.

5. (SBU) REHABILITATION OF THE KAJAKI DAM - Due to continuing
instability in the immediate area, the project is now 15 months
behind schedule. Materials for rehabilitation of the existing
turbines have arrived in country and will be transported to the site
once the security situation allow. Despite discussions with local
tribal chiefs resulting in an agreement to provide a secure window
of time for trucks to carry materials to the Kajaki site, the
shipment did not occur.

6. (SBU) SHEBERGHAN GAS FIELD REHABILITATION PROJECT (Reftel B) -
The tender to rehabilitate a number of gas wells for the proposed
Sheberghan power plant closed September 12. Two bids were received.
USAID contractor LBG/B&V is currently reviewing the submissions and
a result is expected by the end of the first week in October.


KABUL 00003363 002 OF 002


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